It appears the NHL has reached a deal in place with ESPN for a seven-year broadcasting deal, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. There hasn’t been any official word from the NHL.
While financial details haven’t been released, Johnston reports that the sports media giant will own half of the league’s broadcasting rights. He also adds that ESPN will have exclusive rights to broadcast four Stanley Cup Finals between 2022 and 2028, as well as streaming rights with Disney.
Major Opportunity for the NHL
ESPN made massive cuts back in November of 2020 as result of the ongoing pandemic while also focusing on direct-to-consumer methods. The sports network currently has a streaming service, ESPN+, that was founded back in 2018 and has over 12 million subscribers. With Disney having two major streaming services, this could prove to be a really great opportunity for the NHL to expand their viewership and increase revenue.
NBC currently has the right to broadcast games, however their current contract ends this season. As a result the NHL was looking to sign a substantial contract with a major network. While the NHL was faced with a difficult decision on their next deal, everything appears to be in order now that both the league and ESPN have something in the works.